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Summary for 900 Thomas ST / Parcel ID 1986200155 / Inv #

Historic Name: "Garage Building for M. J. Wist"/McPherson Furniture and Equipment Company Common Name: Heet OFC Building
Style: Other - Industrial Neighborhood: South Lake Union
Built By: Year Built: 1920
In the opinion of the survey, this property is located in a potential historic districe (National and/or local).
The building was designed in 1920 as a “garage building for M. J. Wist.” While original drawings show the date of the design and who commissioned the building, no original architect or designer’s name is marked on the drawings. There do not appear to be any original elevation drawings. An early photo, probably from 1936, shows that some of the windows had already been replaced, in some cases with plate glass storefronts at the ground level, while most, but not all of the upper level windows remained intact. The present state of many of the windows at the lower level appears to be based on a fairly careful reconstruction done in 1970, with the windows “replaced to match” the historical windows that remained. The building has been lovingly restored to its original appearance, with minor changes. This is also a very early 1920s building associated with Seattle’s early automotive industry. Since the 1920s, the building has been occupied by a succession of tenants, with the earliest tenants reflecting the industrial nature of the neighborhood. The building was occupied by the McPherson Furniture and Equipment Company, probably in the 1930s, when the historical photograph was taken. In November 1947, the building was bought by Olaf Monrad Bulb Company, Incorporated. The National Bank of Commerce is listed as owners in 1961. Norman G. Aehle, the architect who stamped drawings from 1969 and 1970, bought the building (with others) at the end of 1968 and restored it as an office for “Norman G. Aehle AIA and Associates.” By 1977, part of the building’s ground floor was remodeled to house a restaurant, Marcello’s. Now officially listed as the Heet Office Building, the building’s main tenants are a beauty supply store, which has occupied the southwest portion of main floor of the building since 1991 and the Brian Uttig School of Massage.
900 Thomas St is located on the northeast corner of 9th Avenue North and Thomas Street, south of 312 and 310 9th Avenue N. It is rectangular in plan, forty one feet by seventy eight feet, with the shorter dimension parallel to 9th Avenue North. Two stories in height, the building has a flat roof and parapet. Exterior walls are of solid brick and thirteen inches thick, while the foundation is concrete. There is no basement level. There are three elevations, clad in red brick, which face the street: the west 9th Avenue North façade consists of two bays, while the south Thomas Street façade has five bays. The east elevation, probably originally an alley elevation, has irregular openings and fenestration, including a very large window, consisting of three vertical pairs of large panes, over a low sill, with a doorway, which is lower in height, set to the south. In general, there is no special detailing in the brick cladding, except that a continuous soldier course runs the length of the west and south facades, just above both the openings at the first and second levels. The detailing of the facades relies mainly on that of the well-spaced windows. Ground floor fenestration exhibits a similar design: the main part of the metal frame is divided into three sections, each containing two over two glazing. Covered by large blue and white awnings, which have been affixed to the building at least since the 1980s, are what functions as a clerestory, with three lights in the horizontal direction; however, there is a wood board above this level, suggesting that the original fenestration below the wood, in fact, is similar to the window below. At the second level, the standard window is completely revealed, and consists of three sets of two over two glazing above and below. While the design suggests double-hung windows, some of the individual panes turn out to be operable, as in industrial sash windows. The shutters which are attached around a few of the upper level windows were not part of the original design. At the ground level of the Thomas Street facade, at the second bay from the west, a doorway has been inset at the center of a standard window configuration. There is also a doorway at the first bay from the east, which is now a regular-sized paneled door set within a tall segmental arch, with the rest of the opening above filled in with additional paneling.

Detail for 900 Thomas ST / Parcel ID 1986200155 / Inv #

Status: Yes - Inventory
Classication: Building District Status: INV
Cladding(s): Brick Foundation(s): Concrete - Poured
Roof Type(s): Flat with Parapet Roof Material(s): Asphalt/Composition
Building Type: Commercial/Trade - Warehouse Plan: Rectangular
Structural System: Concrete - Block No. of Stories: two
Unit Theme(s): Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Manufacturing/Industry, Transportation
Storefront: Slight
Changes to Original Cladding: Intact
Changes to Plan: Intact
Changes to Windows: Slight
Major Bibliographic References
King County Property Record Card (c. 1938-1972), Washington State Archives.
Drawings, Microfiche Files, Department of Planning and Development.

Photo collection for 900 Thomas ST / Parcel ID 1986200155 / Inv #

Photo taken Feb 10, 2005
App v2.0.1.0